COWBOYS AND INDIANS by Joseph O’Connor

COWBOYS AND INDIANS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Punk rock and desperate love combine in the yearnings of two young dreamers, both of whom flee to London from the vastly different worlds of the two Irelands seeking a real chance in life- -in an angry, visceral debut from young Irish writer O'Connor. Eddie Virago--a well-educated middle-class hero with a Mohawk and an electric guitar--fancies himself the lead in the hot band he has yet to form. On the boat from Dublin he meets Marion Mangan, a tough customer from Donegal; he throws up on her, they make out, and a romance is born. They move into a cheap hotel run by a sympathetic Indian, who gives Marion a job; then Eddie pursues his punk aspirations with an ad asserting: ``No headbangers or hippies need apply.'' He finds work wholesaling rubbish bags while the band gets an act together; but after their surprisingly solid debut in an Irish pub, Eddie is lured away to join a more professional group. His musical career goes nowhere, however, and he's sacked from his job; facing increasing turbulence with Marion, he secretly decides to abandon her. Taking up with a chic acquaintance from college, Eddie learns that his manager is not only a bigger dreamer than he is but a thief to boot, and months later concludes that Marion is worth the trouble after all--when he goes back to apologize, though, he finds that she went home and got married. Vivid, acid-etched details of the London scene in the 80's, with the mixed blessing of having Irish roots deftly handled--but the conventionality of the story keeps it from being the saga of a new lost generation it might have been. A promising near-miss.

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 1992
ISBN: 1-85619-043-9
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Sinclair-Stevenson/Trafalgar
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 1992




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